One month after an explosion in Beirut injured thousands and claimed over 100 lives, a 5-year-old Border Collie named Flash led rescuers to someone who may have miraculously survived for 30 days in a collapsed building.
Flash is a sniffer dog who was working with TOPOS, a search-and-rescue team dispatched to Beirut from Chile. He is trained to find bodies and alert his team. As Flash and his human team members walked the streets in Beirut’s historic Mar Mikhail district yesterday, Flash suddenly rushed over to some rubble, the Associated Press reports.
Using audio equipment, TOPOS detected what sounded like a pulse of 18 to 19 beats per minute. The rescue team has used cranes, shovels and their bare hands to dig through the rubble in their efforts to reach the possible survivor. As of this morning, the pulse has dropped to seven beats per minute, and the rescue team continues to try to find its source.
Rescue workers resume search operations in a building that collapsed last month in Beirut’s deadly blast hoping to find a survivor under the rubble after a pulsing signal was detected. https://t.co/cqPvRYfEvE
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 4, 2020
Francisco Lermanda, the head of the rescue team, told local TV station Al Jadeed this morning that he couldn’t confirm whether there was a living or dead person under the rubble, and the rescue work would go on.
“Ninety-nine percent there isn’t anything, but even if there is less than 1 percent hope, we should keep on looking,” Youssef Malah, a civil defense worker, told Al Jadeed yesterday.
Flash has deservedly become a social media superhero. Some residents of Beirut posted that Flash cares more about Lebanese people than their own government does. The explosion was caused by about 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate that was unsafely stored at Beirut’s port.
Flash, the Border Collie hero dog in #Beirut, getting paws 🐾 cleaned after detecting a pulse in one of destroyed buildings.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) September 3, 2020
— Matt Kynaston (@MattKynaston) September 3, 2020